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China, Taiwan governments rebuild ties

NANJING, China — China and Taiwan hailed a new chapter in their relations on Tuesday and said their ties would advance after they held their highest-level government talks since they split amid civil war in 1949.

Grisly Michoacán discovery sounds like cartel vengeance

MEXICO CITY — Four human heads were reportedly discovered Thursday in Michoacán state, one of several recent incidents that suggest the Knights Templar drug cartel may be lashing out as the federal government and vigilante groups attempt to retake territory under cartel control.

Boston bombing casts shadow at Sochi

SOCHI, Russia — President Vladimir Putin pointed Wednesday to the Boston Marathon bombings as a big reason for the intense security around the Winter Olympics that Russia is kicking off this week.

North Korea threatens to cancel reunions with Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened today to cancel reunions of Korean War-divided families because of upcoming U.S.-South Korean military drills and accused the United States of raising tensions by flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers near the Korean Peninsula.
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Sea survivor’s Salvadoran family thought he died

GARITA PALMERA, El Salvador — A Salvadoran fisherman’s account of his survival after more than 13 months and about 6,500 miles in an open boat has proved a double miracle for his mother and father, who lost touch with him eight years ago and thought he was dead.

U.N. committee blasts Vatican on sex abuse

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican “systematically” adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a U.N. human rights committee said today, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.
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Mexico to invest $3.4 billion in troubled Michoacán state

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that his government would invest the equivalent of about $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programs for the beleaguered Mexican state of Michoacán, where armed vigilante groups have been clashing with a drug gang.

Bombings kill nearly two dozen in Iraqi capital

BAGHDAD — Multiple bombings rocked central Baghdad today, striking mainly near the heavily fortified Green Zone where key government offices are located and killing at least 22 people, Iraqi officials said.

El Salvador’s presidential race headed for a runoff

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A runoff presidential election appeared likely in El Salvador after leftist Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the top vote-getter, narrowly missed winning outright, according to preliminary election results Monday.
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Monarch migration may soon disappear

MEXICO CITY — The stunning and little-understood annual migration of millions of Monarch butterflies to spend the winter in Mexico is in danger of disappearing, experts said Wednesday, after numbers dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993.
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Ukrainian activist: ‘They crucified me’

KIEV, Ukraine — Police today opened an investigation into the kidnapping of an opposition activist, who said he was held captive for more than a week and tortured in the latest in a string of mysterious attacks on anti-government protesters in the two-month-long political crisis.
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Official says drug cartel supplies vigilantes’ weapons

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s attorney general said Thursday that he has proof that some of the arms being used by the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacán state were supplied by a drug cartel, the Jalisco New Generation, according to news reports.
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Ukrainian president takes sick leave amid crisis

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s embattled president is taking sick leave, his office announced today, a surprise development that left unclear how efforts to resolve the country’s political crisis would move forward. Protesters have been calling for his resignation for two months.

Israelis gun down Palestinian, family rejects explanation

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israeli troops shot a Palestinian man to death today in an incident the military said was sparked when the man opened fire on soldiers. His family disputed the account, saying he was killed without provocation.
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Prime minister steps down as anti-protest laws fall

KIEV, Ukraine — In back-to-back moves aimed at defusing Ukraine’s political crisis, the prime minister resigned today and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent clashes between protesters and police.

Defiant Morsi rages at trial for Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO — Egypt’s toppled President Mohammed Morsi stood alone in a soundproof glass-encased metal cage at the start of a new trial today wearing a white prison uniform, pacing and shouting angrily at the judge in apparent disbelief: “Who are you? Tell me!”
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Explosions echo in Egypt on eve of anniversary, holiday

CAIRO — A trio of explosions in the Egyptian capital today, one of them an apparent vehicle bomb in front of a downtown security headquarters, killed at least five people and injured scores of others, according to officials and state media reports.